Weight Loss Surgery – Is It For You?

April 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Health Department Weight Loss Tips

Weight loss surgery is clearly not for everybody. There are many other less intrusive, natural methods that need to be tried before considering weight loss surgery.

Weight loss surgery is an option for weight reduction in patients with clinically severe obesity, i.e., a BMI ?40, or a BMI ? 35 with high health risk conditions. Weight loss surgery is really reserved for people in whom other methods of treatment have failed and who have clinically severe obesity. Weight loss surgery provides medically significant sustained weight loss for more than 5 years in most patients.

Two types of operations have proven to be effective: those that restrict gastric volume (banded gastroplasty) and those that, in addition to limiting food intake, also alter digestion (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass). Lifelong medical monitoring after surgery is a necessity.

Operative complications, including anastomotic leak, subphrenic abscess, splenic injury, pulmonary embolism, wound infection, and stoma stenosis, occur in less than 10 percent of patients.


An integrated program that provides guidance on diet, physical activity, and psychosocial concerns before and after surgery is necessary. Most patients fare remarkably well with reversal of diabetes, control of hypertension, marked improvement in mobility, return of fertility, cure of pseudotumor cerebri, and significant improvement in quality of life.

Late complications are uncommon, but some patients may develop incisional hernias, gallstones, and, less commonly, weight loss failure and dumping syndrome.

Patients who do not follow the instructions to maintain an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals may develop deficiencies of vitamin B12 and iron with anemia. Neurologic symptoms may occur in unusual cases. Thus, surveillance should include monitoring indices of inadequate nutrition. Documentation of improvement in preoperative  comorbidities is beneficial and advised.

This is just a brief coverage of weight loss surgery provided by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Make sure to speak with your health care provider and do your own research to determine if this is a right procedure for you.

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One Response to “Weight Loss Surgery – Is It For You?”
  1. Spencer says:

    I am torn on this issue. I lost a sister-in-law due to complications arising from weight loss surgery. And on the other hand I have a couple of friends whose lives were extended and saved because of it. It boils down to your ability to follow your Dr. instructions and sticking to it. That is why there are so many mental tests involved. Just make sure you know what you are doing.

    Spencer’s last blog post..Golf Swing Today basics VII – Golf Etiquette

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